In order for any structure to withstand the test of time, it needs to be built on a solid foundation. One such structure is a business partnership. It’s easy to imagine that a partnership can fall apart because it’s not doing so good. However, there are a lot of instances where the company in question is doing just fine, but it’s the partners who can’t agree on a mutual direction. So, how do you make a business partnership that lasts – you build it on a solid foundation? Here are the top seven tips for a business partnership that can withstand the test of time.
1. Talk about the vision
The first mistake that a lot of business partners make is to base on their partnership on mutual interest. The problem with interest is the fact that, here, the majority of opinions collide. Everyone wants growth, expansion and profit. Where their opinions differ is in how they can get there. So instead of talking about the interest, try talking about the vision. For instance, you can talk about the eco-friendliness of your business, the direction in which you aim to expand or the legacy that you intend for your business to become.
2. Practice transparency
One more thing you need to understand is the importance of practicing transparency with your partner. The only way for them to trust you is to be open in your communication with them. Now, the problem here lies in the fact that some people don’t know how to break the bad news. Keep in mind that this is a pivotal skill that may make or break your partnership. If you have made a mistake that might come back to haunt you or cost your business dearly, you need to be honest about it.
3. Pose as a unified front
You and your business partner need to discuss every issue that affects the future of your business. You have the right to disagree and even enter an open conflict if your opinions differ so greatly. However, it is unwise that you do this in front of others. No matter how bitter your argument is (even though you should try to keep things professional at all times), other people shouldn’t even have a clue that the argument ever occurred. So, you need someone who knows how to handle discussions behind locked doors.
4. Offer support
At the end of the day, your business partner is the person who knows the best what you’re going through. After all, you share the same responsibility and carry the same burden. The same thing goes the other way around. So, what you need to do is provide them with much-needed support. This support can sometimes be verbal but, at the end of the day, can be shown in other things, as well. Even small gestures can show one just how much you appreciate them and care for them. For instance, if your partner is heading to the Gold Coast for a business meeting, you can arrange to have them picked up by car hire at Gold Coast airport. For you, this is a minor expense and a phone call away. For them, it could mean the world.
5. Delegation of tasks
One of the most important things is that you and your partner know how to delegate tasks properly. Each needs to get something that they’re A) interested in and B) skilled at. In a scenario where you can’t achieve such a thing, there’s a chance that an argument may break out, later on. This is why you need to pick someone who has skills that complement yours, not mirror them.
6. Keep everything in writing
No matter how much you trust your partner, sometimes, you need to have things in writing. This means that you need to hire a couple of legal experts and have them draft an ironclad contract. By keeping anything in writing, you will have a quick and simple way of handling a dispute. Also, the quality of the contract is far more important than you would expect. Why? Well, simply because if it gives you room for interpretation or if there’s an ambiguity involved, then any court or arbitrator is likely to decide against the party that had the contract made.
7. Think about the succession
No one lives forever, and the last thing that you want to keep in mind is the idea that even a completely healthy, young person can suffer from something horrible either health- or accident-wise. The issue of succession is, therefore, far more crucial than you would expect it to be. So, it’s best if it’s resolved in time. This too needs to be included in the contract (which is something we’ve discussed previously).
Sure, there’s no recipe for a great marriage or a great business partnership. There are some people that you can do with and some people you can’t make it work with. The above-listed tips are both there to help you tell the one group from the other, as well as to enable you to upgrade your business partnership. All in all, these are tips worth abiding by.